Somerset Times

From the Headmaster - Week 1




Somerset Times Edition

Week 1,
Term One, 2016

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A very warm welcome and welcome back to 2016 for the Somerset Community. Over this week we had 182 new students begin their journey at the College and we certainly hope theirs will be as rewarding as ours. We started the year with a record enrolment of 1,485 from Pre-Prep to Year 12.

There has been dramatic growth over the past few years and now we return in 2016 to near completion of the new Sports Facilities that I’m sure you are as excited about as we are! The new facilities are a direct result of this considered growth and your support. Thank you.

Year 6 students are well and truly settling in to their new classrooms, ready for the year ahead!

We welcomed the following new staff:

  • Mr Ash Abdou (Class of 1990) - Head of Department - Mathematics
  • Ms Melissa Black - Teacher - Junior School
  • Mr Brad Cates - Teacher - Junior School
  • Miss Emma Lowden – GAP Staff
  • Mr Ryan Martin – Kitchen Hand
  • Mr Dean Perkiss – Head Chef
  • Mrs Samantha Powell - Teacher Assistant - Junior School
  • Miss Kiani Raklander - AFL Internship
  • Mrs Elke Schneider - Teacher - Senior School
  • Ms Rachel Skyring - Teacher - Junior School
  • Ms Vicky Speight - Teacher - Junior School
  • Mr Ben Turner (Class of 1996) - Teacher - Senior School; and

welcome back to Mrs Sandy Berghofer, Mr Richard Gazal, Mrs Jane Gazal, Mr Stewart Moore, Mr Isao Kamei and Mr Tim Fisher.

There have been a number of changes to responsibilities this year:

  • Mr Paul Evans - Acting Head of Department - Business and Humanities
  • Mrs Margaret Kiddle - Pre-Prep Director
  • Miss Bronwyn Lee - Head of House – Andrews
  • Mr Stewart Moore – Assistant Head of Department – Business and Humanities
  • Ms Selena Muscat - Assistant Head of Department - Design
  • Mr Dallas O'Brien - Head of Department - Design
  • Mrs Sarah White - Assistant Head of Department - Foreign Languages

On a bittersweet note, I am delighted to tell you that Dr Andrew Cousins has been appointed as Director of Teaching and Learning at Presbyterian Ladies College, Perth from the start of next term.

Dr Cousins has been a wonderful colleague and teacher on so many levels since joining the College in 1999, starting as a Science teacher before assuming the Head of Department role in 2006. He was then appointed as Dean of Middle Years in 2008 before assuming his current role as Dean of Teaching and Learning in 2014.

We will miss him greatly but this a wonderful career opportunity for him to embrace another organisation and take it forward as he has done here. It is an exciting time for the Cousins family as they venture west and we wish Andrew, Jo, James and Georgie all the richest blessings in this move.

With Dr Cousins resigning his position, I have taken the opportunity to look at responsibilities around the Deputy Headmaster and Deans of Teaching and Learning and Middle Years. With the changes coming in a few years as part of the QCAA review of Senior Studies the responsibilities of the Academic Counsellor will also change as the QCS and OP systems disappear.

After discussions with the College Leadership Team, I have decided that the current roles of Dean of Teaching and Learning and Academic Counsellor will be redundant at the end of first term. Two new positions will be created.

The Dean of Studies will assume the responsibilities of the Academic Counsellor and also take on data analysis of student and staff performance, leadership of its use, and all diagnostic testing. This will be a CLT position.

I am delighted to announce that Mrs Karen Crowley has accepted my offer of this new position and membership of the CLT. Mrs Crowley’s experience, success and work ethic over the past few years in her second stint at Somerset makes this appointment both well-deserved and logical. The Strategic Plan has data driven decisions at its heart so we must have someone to continue the excellent start Dr Cousins has given us and Mrs Crowley deservedly enjoys the confidence of so many students, parents and staff at the College.

The Head of Curriculum Services will co-ordinate Senior School reporting, construct mark books, construct the timetable including alternative versions, co-ordinate replacement staff in the Senior School, construct duty rosters and co-ordinate the weekly Senior School calendar. This position will work closely with the Deputy Headmaster, Dean of Middle Years and Dean of Studies.

The Deputy Headmaster and Dean of Middle Years will take on some changes to their roles in lieu of those that have moved to the other two positions.

Class of 2015 Academic Results

A complete summary of their outstanding results are available on the College website but the highlights are as follows:


  • 9 OP 1s, 7.63% of the cohort of 118
  • OP 1 to 2, 20.3%
  • OP 1 to 3, 27.1%
  • OP 1 to 5, 38.1%
  • OP 1 to 10, 69.1%
  • OP 1 to 15, 94.1%
  • A median OP of 7

IB Diploma, Cohort of 5

  • 41, 38, 36, 34, 31

An average of OP4 equivalent

This changes the key statistics to:

  • OP 1, 7.31%
  • OP 1 to 3, 27.6%
  • OP 1 to 5, 39.1%
  • OP 1 to 10, 70.7%%
  • OP 1 to 15, 94.3%

Combined Results

As part of the changes we made two years ago to find alternative pathways, we had 19 students complete an external Business Diploma.

This enabled them to be given a rank score equivalent to an OP 9 for tertiary entrance purposes. There are 27 similarly enrolled this year. Therefore, over 80% of our students were treated as OP1 to 10 for tertiary entrance. Likewise, with bonus points for other subjects, 17.1% of the cohort were treated as OP 1s for tertiary entrance purposes. The most common OP score over the past 20 years continues to be an OP1, there’s only one other school that could claim this.

I look forward to meeting all parents at the Parents' and Friends' Celebration of the New School Year - Welcome to 2016 on Friday 5 February 2016 from 6.30pm to 9.00pm in Towers Quad. This function is a wonderful opportunity for parents new to the College and those returning to meet each other and the staff.

Please make this highlight function a priority on your calendar!

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